The Iliad

The Student News Site of Poway High School

The Student News Site of Poway High School

The Iliad

The Student News Site of Poway High School

The Iliad

Discovering the Secrets of the Universe

Suhail Rahimi
Aristotle and Dante

In the underrated feature film, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, based on the book by Benjamin Alire Sáenz, viewers get to see the words they read come to life. 

Aristotle (Max Pelayo) and Dante (Reese Gonzales), both fifteen years old at the beginning of the movie, crave to understand who they are and the world around them. 

As viewers tread through the events of the movie, they get to experience the trials and tribulations of the two teenage boys trying to navigate the issues that come with them feeling different, almost outsiders compared to the people around them. My favorite scenes are the ones directly from the book— which were most of them, but I loved being able to recite their dialogue in my head word for word.    

While many scenes came straight from the book itself, there were some differences. One that I personally did not like was Aristotle’s reaction to a big plot point. However, other than the one scene, I found that the accuracy between the book and the movie was indistinguishable – the major plot points, the dynamics of the characters, and the overall feel of the movie gave me a sense of familiarity.    

The film also includes more scenes of Aristotle (Ari) and his Aunt Tia, which I felt were missing from the book because of how influential she was to Ari’s realization of who he truly is and the connection they shared. 

Other little details that were altered but did not bug me, as most movie adaptations have changes for good reasons. For example, when Aristotle and Dante dance in the rain, they are in their underwear, whereas in the book, they are naked.    

To me, it seemed Aristotle was angrier in the book than in the movie— whether this was because authors can go into more detail in terms of their characters’ feelings or the director wanted to alter his anger — the character depictions seemed very accurate. Especially when it came to the relationships between Aristotle and Dante and their parents.     

I recommend the movie (as well as the book) and it was disheartening to see how underground it was. In my theater there were only four other people, granted it was in the middle of a Thursday. The movie deserves more recognition. As of late, there have been movie adaptations that were great successes, and I feel like Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe should have had that same attention.    

Until then, it will be the ones who look for the secrets of the universe, probably on a streaming device, who will come across the story of Aristotle and Dante.    

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Bernell Bello, Editor-in-Chief
I enjoy editing and writing for the Pop Culture page and writing for the Feature page. Some of my interests are reading, watching “One Tree Hill”, and clothes shopping. My favorite quote is “You've got no reason to be afraid, you're on your own, kid,” by Taylor Swift. In the future, I will be juggling all of my passions and living my life to the fullest. (Class of 2024)

Comments (0)

All The Iliad Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *